Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hanging of Afzal was bad in Law: Human Rights Activist

The widow and son of Afzal Guru with his mother who is no more now.
Written by Hemraj Jain
Indian print and electronic media has reported that after coming to power in J&K on Sunday the PDP Legislators condemned the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and demanded his remains be handed over to his kin. It involves two issue and should be understood separately as given below:-
(1)- Certainly the hanging of  Afzal in February, 2013 was bad in law. Capital punishment is rightly on statute but is reserved only for those who are physically involved in killing some one. By no stretch of imagination capital punishment can be given to a person who is involved merely in criminal conspiracy of any murder / killings. Because it goes against the basic concept of criminal  jurisprudence about the primary responsibility of the person who physically carry out the act of murder / killings.
(2)- This fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence can be understood by a common example where parents always scold their children when children commit some wrong on the instigation of their friend. Parents always say 'Vo kahega kuve me kood ja tu kood  jayega’ (if your friend says jump in the well, will you do it). Especially in a democracy where every adult citizen is supposed to be intelligent and responsible person who can elect even  government, it is a travesty of justice to hang anyone who is involved merely in criminal conspiracy but not physically in murder / killings.
(3)- Because Afzal was found involved by court only in criminal conspiracy but not physically in murder / killings at the site of crime (the Indian Parliament in 2001), hence not only Supreme Court of India erred in its judgement & sense of proportion when it passed death sentence to Afzal but President of India was also wrong in not converting capital punishment of Afzal Guru into life imprisonment while deciding his mercy petition.. Therefore anyone (in J&K or in rest of India) who criticizes the hanging of Afzal Guru has every constitutional right of freedom of expression to highlight the glaring injustice done to Afzal and his family by Indian State through hanging of Afzal Guru.
(4)- As far handing over the remains of body of Afzal Guru to his family no body is interested in this as is evident from my letter of March 20, 2013 published at  http://www.scoopnews.in/det.aspx?q=27762  . Had the family members and friends of Afzal taken interest at that time in March 2013 then  not merely the remains of body (which now they are demanding in 2015) but even his body could have been brought to Kashmir (at his home place) for giving last rites and burial to Afzal, as per the practices of his religion Islam. The PDP Legislatures, party members, some Kashmiri Muslims and others who are raising this demand of getting remains of Afzal’s body,  are interested only in blaming government of India and projecting Hindu majority India in a bad light on communal basis.
Even now if some authorized person (family member) is interested in getting remains of body of Afzal Guru then he / she can do it easily through court proceeding as mention in said published letter and if he / she finds any difficulty in getting relief through these court proceedings then I am prepared to help him / her by coming to J&K or Delhi (wherever and whenever needed).
Hem Raj Jain
(Author of 'Betrayal of Americanism')

Bengaluru, (Karnataka) Indi

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